TMZ is reporting that Bushwick Bill, the rapper who helped form the Houston-based Geto Boys, has died. The rapper has been battling pancreatic cancer. His son, Javon, told TMZ that the rapper’s last words were “I will love you forever.”
Bushwick Bill, whose real name is Richard Shaw, was 52 years old. He died surrounded by family and friends.
Bushwick Bill’s Death Was First Announced — by Mistake — on Sunday Morning, & the Rapper’s Friends Said He Was Still Very Much Alive
On Sunday, June 9 TMZ reported that Bushwick Bill had died of pancreatic cancer. Tributes to the rapper started pouring in to social media. Even Scarface, a close friend of Bushwick Bill’s and a fellow member of the Geto Boys, took to Instagram to post about Bill’s death.
But on Sunday afternoon, Bushwick Bill’s publicist reached out to TMZ to say that in fact, Bushwick Bill was still very much alive. The publicist said that Bill is “still alive and fighting cancer” in a hospital. She told TMZ that she spoke to hospital staff to confirm, and said some of Bill’s family members are by his hospital bedside right now. Others are on their way.
Bushwick Bill’s Instagram account also posted an update, which you can read here:
“Contrary to what has been prematurely, insensitively, and inaccurately posted/reported – My dad IS NOT dead, he’s still alive and fighting for his life. He needs your continued prayers and support. Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it, and it’s messed up because yall really think these people care about him. There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill. Thank you @tmz_tv & @realdawn_p for the updated report. On behalf of the family we’re requesting privacy until further notice.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Rumors of Bushwick Bill’s Death Might Have Started After He Missed the First Show in His ‘Phuck Cancer’ Tour on June 8
Rumors that Bushwick Bill had died started circulating after the Houston-born rapper missed a show on Saturday night. The long-awaited show, in Dallas, was being billed as the first show in a “Phuck Cancer” tour. Bushwick Bill wrote about his plans for the tour on Instagram, urging all his fans to buy tickets and saying, “Let’s start this off strong, ima need all ya good vibes and high energy.”
Sadly, Bushwick Bill himself wasn’t able to be at the first show of the ‘Phuck Cancer’ tour. He was confined to his hospital bed. And that, TMZ says, might be the reason why fans and even other Geto Boys started to think that Buswhcik Bill had died. He planned the “Phuck Cancer” tour as a way to showcase his fight against stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In fact, he wrote on Instagram that he got the idea for the ‘Phuck Cancer’ tour after he decided to pull out of the Geto Boys reunion tour. Here’s why Bushwick Bill said he pulled out of the “Final Farewell” tour:
“I didn’t like the title. Simple. It didn’t speak life into my situation, but instead promoted the idea of impending death. I believe in the power of the tongue and speaking things into existence (whether you intend to or not.) If the tour was speaking life and good health, cool. But if I got on stage and performed, then I’m basically agreeing that I’m starting a journey on a “long goodbye”. That’s not the energy I want to put out there. I refuse to even entertain that thought. And anyone who genuinely cares about me wouldn’t support nothing of that nature either. I’m going to fight this cancer ?. And with your support and prayers, I’m gonna beat it too.”
Bushwick Bill Went Public About His Cancer Diagnosis Last Month & Vowed to Beat It
In late May, Bushwick Bill announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. He said that he’d started intense chemotherapy in February, after doctors first discovered the malignant mass on his pancreas. The rapper said that he waited a few months before telling Scarface and Willie D about the diagnosis. But, he told TMZ, he finally decided that it was best to go public with his diagnosis — he explained that he wanted to help others be more aware of health issues and raise awareness about cancer. “I been keeping it to myself, but I’m getting ready to tell Scarface and Willie D,” Bill told TMZ. “I’ve only told close family members, that’s about it, but I figured keeping it to myself is not really helping nobody.”
Bushwick Bill, Scarface and Willie D formed the Geto Boys in 1988 in Houston. Their 1991 album “Can’t Be Stopped,” which included the classic “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” went platinum.